Amid noisy scenes being witnessed in the Maharashtra Assembly for a few days now over the demand for farm-loan waiver, the Maharashtra government today informed the House that the number of farmer suicides in the state have seen a drastic decline this year.
As many as 389 farmers in the state committed suicide first two months of 2017, the state Assembly was told today. The corresponding period last year saw 480 farmers committing suicide, official figures show.
Alone in Vidarbha region, 203 farmers (174 in Amaravati and 29 in Nagpur) killed themselves this year. Nagpur is the home district of CM Devendra Fadnavis who heads a BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government in the state.
In Marathwada, one of the worst drought-hit regions in the state, a total of 135 farmers committed suicide. In northern part of the state, 42 farmers killed themselves whereas in western region, the figure stands at 10.
The opposition parties Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have come together to attack the Fadnavis government on the issue. They have been demanding a complete waiver of loans of debt-hit farmers in the state.
Sena, the junior partners of the ruling coalition, has also disrupted the Assembly proceedings extensively to push for their demand to announce waiver of loans. However, CM Fadnavis has been given assurances since a year that loan-waiver will be announced at the appropriate time.
In 2015, 3,228 farmer suicides were reported in Maharashtra -- the highest number in 14 years, according to data tabled in the Rajya Sabha on March 4, 2016, accounting for the death of almost nine farmers every day.
According to an estimate, during these two-and-half years, Maharashtra has recorded around 9,000 farmland suicides.